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State Transformation in Action Recognition (STAR) Award

 



 

IMPACT | CREATIVITY |

Effectiveness | TRANSFERABILITY


The CSG Southern Office recognizes that state employees work hard, not only to provide outstanding services to their citizens, but also by striving to develop and adapt new and improved programs to make their states a better place to live.  Such efforts should be recognized and rewarded, and innovative ideas should be shared among colleagues.

The STAR award represents an opportunity to highlight successful programs implemented within your state, especially those that can be replicated across state lines to improve the region as a whole.


Program Liaison

Nick Bowman

Nick Bowman, Research & Publications Associate

Showcase Your State's Success

For nearly 40 years, CSG has identified and promoted exceptional state government programs. Through the STAR award, the Southern Office recognizes impactful, creative, effective and transferable state government solutions. Innovative program submissions are accepted from a wide array of state agencies, departments and institutions operating within the executive, legislative and judicial governmental branches.

Following an initial review process, five finalists are invited to present their program to the STAR Judges Panel — comprising state legislators, legislative staff and policy experts — who select two exceptional programs as models of efficiency and effectiveness in state governments in the Southern region.


State programs are evaluated and graded by the following criteria:


Impact – How far-reaching are the benefits and solutions of the program?
Creativity – Does the program represent a new and creative approach to solving common problems or issues?
Effectiveness – To what extent is the program successful at addressing an issue, and how efficiently does it operate?
Transferability – From a logistical and fiscal standpoint, could the program or practice easily be transferred to other states?


2017 Winners


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TENNESSEE HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION | PRIORITIZING STUDENT VETERANS PROGRAM


In 2014, the Tennessee General Assembly passed the Veterans Education Transition Support (VETS) Act, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris and House Speaker Pro Tempore Curtis Johnson, to promote enrollment and degree completion by veterans in higher education, while also encouraging campuses to develop services and resources for student veterans. The primary components of the legislation include charging in-state tuition for veterans enrolling at public post-secondary education institutions and creating the VETS Campus Designation program to recognize public colleges and universities that demonstrate significant commitment to student veterans.

As of May 2017, 21 institutions in Tennessee have been recognized as VETS Campuses. Since their creation, the VETS Campus institutions have educated more than 8,000 veterans annually in Tennessee. In March 2017, the program was expanded to provide in-state tuition to veterans’ dependents and a new online tool was developed that allows veterans to see how their military occupational specialty equates to academic credit at Tennessee’s higher education institutions.


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WEST VIRGINIA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION| ELECTRONIC APPLICATION PROCESSING SYSTEM


In 2015, the Department of Education (DOE) created the Electronic Application Processing System to provide a better way for teachers to obtain or renew a West Virginia teaching certification. The traditional process required teachers to know which of the 43 forms they needed to complete for their certification or renew and required DOE staff to collect multiple approval signatures from institutions of higher education. To standardize and streamline the process, DOE developed a secure online system that allowed applicants to complete certification and renewal forms online, submit them for approval, and process credit card payments through the West Virginia Treasurer’s Office. The system has reduced the time needed to process an application from weeks to days. Applicants now receive real-time status updates as their application traverses through the approval process. During the first year of the new system, over 8,000 applications were submitted.



Historical Information


Previous Years' Winners

Example Program Categories

Agriculture & Natural Resources

Agricultural Education
Conservation & Land Use
Land Preservation
Parks & Recreation
Natural Resources
Trade

Economic Development, Fiscal Affairs & Transportation

Business & Commerce
International Trade
Revenue
Transportation Infrastructure
Tourism
Public-Private Partnerships

Education

Administration
Management
Personnel
Training & Development
Workforce Development

Energy

Efficiency
Transmission
Infrastructure

Health & Human Services

Aging
Children & Families
Health Services
Housing
Human Services

Government Operations & Technology

Administration
Elections
Information Systems
Public Information
Telecommunications

Public Safety & Corrections

Corrections
Courts
Criminal Justice
Substance Abuse
Emergency Management
Public Safety

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